A generation ago, it was a barrier only exotic supercars with six-figure stickers could cross.Today, you can get there in a family sedan.
The 300 horsepower barrier isn't what it used to be. Thanks to technologies like direct injection, turbocharging and valve timing, engineers today can get pulse-quickening power from a V-6, and put it in range of many family budgets. We found five ways to get there under $30,000.
2011 Mustang GT 5.0Enlarge Photo
The muscle car wars used to be all about V-8 power. Now, they're more nuanced, with manufacturers looking to extract true muscle car performance from more fuel-efficient engines. Ford has done an outstanding job of that with its new V-6-powered Mustang, good for 305 horsepower, even at a price tag below $24k. The least-expensive Mustang is no longer just about looks. It manages a 5.5-second zero-to-sixty time and 31 mpg on the highway.